The Christmas Connection
Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year. Or at least that’s what Andy Williams tells us in his classic song that plays over the radio and in every shopping mall across the country. For me, this Christmas is indeed a very special one as it will be my first since becoming an ethical vegan on January 1, 2014.
Now in theory, it should be business as usual right? Gathering together with family and friends, exchanging gifts and enjoying big hearty meals often served on our best dinnerware. These are the traditions that run deep with many and which seldom vary from year to year, so why should this year be any different? After all, what has really changed? I’m another year older, but I’m still the same ol’ me, right?
And yet something is very different. I now see the world through a different set of eyes than I did just a year ago. Now more than ever, I see both the hope and seeming hopelessness of the human condition. On the one hand, I am now fully persuaded that ethical veganism offers the best hope for our future, and yet at the same time I am also aware of the immense suffering of others in ways that I never thought possible.
How can reading a few words in Matthew Scully’s Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy and watching Earthlings, a 90 minute documentary, awaken within the heart and mind an awareness of things either long forgotten or conveniently overlooked? How can seeing the suffering and senseless deaths of peaceful creatures create compassion and empathy for all earth’s inhabitants? And yet here I am, a changed man with a different worldview.
Some 2000 years ago, we are told that a child was born in a manger among farm animals because there was no room for him in the inn. It seems strangely fitting that the one considered by many to be the very hope of humanity was born in the midst of those often considered to be the least among us. Perhaps we should not so easily dismiss this as we are inclined to do. Perhaps the answer, in this case, is in the details.
As I prepare to celebrate this Christmas, my very first vegan Christmas, my wish is that others will also make room in their hearts for those who once watched over a promised child’s arrival into this world so many years ago. My hope is that others will make the connection and realize that the animals are here with us and not just for us.
This year, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas Connection!
Dave is a self-employed futures market consultant and trainer at TradeOneHourADay.com, specializing in teaching others how to trade the futures markets for a living. Before starting his own business, Dave worked as a sales manager and trainer in the electronics retail industry. As a student at Southeastern University, he majored in Biblical Studies with a minor in Systematic Theology.